Archive for the 'Travel' Category

spots we loved in new york

I still can’t believe we spent an entire month there. We had the most amazing weather (it was in the 40s and 50s!) the entire time, and I think it may have rained twice. So every day Linky and I would go on marathon walks from one end of the island to the other, exploring different neighborhoods and discovering neat places. Then there were outings sans Linky – mental health dates just by myself, date nights with Andrew, and a girls’ night out too. It was such a fun month. Here are a few of the places I bookmarked as new favorites during our New York adventure…

Food + Drink

North End Grill – This Danny Meyer establishment does seasonal cuisine really really well. The drinks are delicious and innovative and service is top notch.

Hudson Clearwater
– A cozy and beautiful space filled with beautiful people. Simple and tasty seasonal fare and the fact that the entrance is “hidden” is the cherry on top.

Doughnut Plant – Such. Good. Doughnuts. I’m still thinking about them. The pistachio yeast was my favorite.

Milk + Honey – A speakeasy with no menu. You tell them what you like, they create a drink for you. We liked the Ex-Pat.

Shops + Boutiques

Steven Alan – Women’s clothing and jewelry.

Canvas – Beautiful things for the home.

Schoolhouse Electric – Another store with beautiful things for the home.

Books of Wonder
– This bookshop has such a great selection of both classic and modern children’s books.

Playing Mantis – The handmade wooden toys here are unbelievable. I wanted to buy everything for Lincoln.

Otte – Women’s clothing and jewelry.

posted by christine in Travel and have Comments (4)

NYC bucket list no. 01

My favorite thing to do in any city is stroll through neighborhoods and indulge in the little things like a latte and croissant at the corner cafe or browse through a tiny old bookshop with books piled high to the ceiling. But I like to sprinkle in some leisurely site-seeing too. As frequent visitors to New York, we’ve done a lot of the strolling and browsing, but haven’t experienced many of the major things – the Empire State Building, the Met, etc. I didn’t see Times Square until my 7th or 8th trip here! Solution? A checklist. Obviously.

Today marks two weeks since we’ve been here and it’s even growing on Andrew. Oh, New York. We do miss home like crazy though and it’s been challenging living out of a suitcase with a 9 month old, but we’re happy to all be together. So here’s my list and I’ll be sure to post favorites after our stay here!


☐ donuts from Doughnut Plant
☐ pizza in DUMBO
☐ dinner at [Too many places bookmarked. TBD.]
☐ brunch at [Too many places bookmarked. TBD.]
☐ drinks at Milk & Honey


☐ Steven Alan
☐ Etsy Pop-up Shop in Soho
☐ Papel


☐ go to the top of the Empire State Building
☐ explore MoMA
☐ see a Broadway show

Oh, and tips and suggestions please!

posted by christine in Travel and have Comments (3)

[mama matters] 10 tips for flying with a baby under 6 months

I used to be one of those people that held their breath, hoping not to be seated near a child on the plane. Now being on the other end of that, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the please-not-here prayers I saw in the eyes of people near empty seats. But after logging a total of 30 flight hours and 6 layover hours within a 2.5 month period, I was surprised at how smooth flying with a baby (at least of this age) can be.

I’ve received requests to share some tips, so here are a few things that worked for us and a little about our 3 flight experiences if you’d like to read more. Hope mamas reading find this helpful.


1. Use a baby carrier. Especially if you’re flying alone. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big advocate for baby-wearing and my carrier is pretty much an extension of me (I use it all.the.time. and this is my favorite), but it’s invaluable while traveling. It allows baby to stay on his schedule uninterrupted and sleep when he needs to (if you’re a nursing mom you can nurse in it too while on the go!) and prevents him from getting overstimulated from all the changes around him. You can go through security with it on, use it to walk through a plane hands-free to keep your balance during unexpected patches of turbulence, etc. I’d almost go as far as to say this pretty much guarantees a calm baby.

2. Do everything possible to make sure baby gets plenty of sleep the night before and/or day of the flight. It’s the number one reason for crankiness.

3. If you feel you need to pop your ears, so does baby. Nurse, give them a bottle, a pacifier, their fingers, anything to suck on that will aid in relieving discomfort from pressure changes. Take-off and landing are of course the most important times, but even during the flight if your ears start bothering you, help baby out too.

4. Try to get an aisle seat. Also, if you’re traveling with a companion and want to sit together, try booking the window and aisle seats since the middle ones are usually the last to be booked and there’s a good chance you might score an empty seat in between.

5. If you’re traveling with a companion on a longer flight, sit separately and switch off every 2 hours or so. You’ll each get time to relax and read a book or watch movie. Once it’s your turn again, your time with baby will be much more enjoyable. (see Romania experience below)

6. For longer flights, call the airline to reserve bassinet seats a few weeks before your flight.

7. Use a diaper changing kit. Changing a baby in an airplane lavatory is definitely up there on the list of life’s most challenging experiences. This made it a lot easier, especially when traveling alone. Everything was in one spot, I could pull it out of the backpack and once I was in the bathroom, I could open it with one hand.

8. Check as much luggage as possible. Especially if traveling alone.

9. Use a backpack as your carry-on and diaper bag. A bag constantly slipping off your shoulder is kind of annoying.

10. Don’t hesitate to ask people around you for help.

From our very first flight to Chicago… I had no idea this would happen. haha It gets good around 0:22.

our 3 travel experiences after the jump > > >

posted by christine in Baby + Kids,Pregnancy + Motherhood,Travel and have Comments (6)


first time in the ocean // remnants of a mojito // naptime in the hammock // colores de mexico // palm trees and ocean waves

posted by christine in Personal,Travel and have Comments (4)

we must carry it with us

posted by christine in Travel and have No Comments


Getting Linky a passport is just one of the items on my ever-growing to do list. The photos are usually such a pain, but I used Passportica and it was SO easy. We never had to leave the house and it literally took minutes (and their customer service is phenomenal). I love his little drool face.

posted by christine in Travel and have Comments (3)

[date night: dc] washington national cathedral + 2amys

Being homebodies and now parents, Andrew and I really need to be intentional about going out on real dates. We love our couch time – watching movies as we scoop out ice cream from our individual Hagen Daaz tubs, but whenever we do go out, we always vow we’ll do it more often. That’s why I love this idea of having a date box. This new blog feature is my version of that. Most will be DC dates, but there might be some New York and Chicago posts too since we’re there a few times a year. They’ll usually have two activities (ideally located in the same neighborhood), one of which will be food/drink related.

As of last week, Lincoln is successfully taking a bottle, and my brother has offered to babysit next week! We’re thinking a concert at the National Cathedral and pizza at 2Amys afterwards…

And how awesome is this tip for keeping the marriage sparks flying?!

posted by christine in Marriage + Family,Travel and have Comments (2)

[the shop list: dc] Fleurir Chocolates

We parked on P Street in Georgetown last Saturday and right before getting to our car, I caught a glimpse Fleurir’s whimsical interior. So of course I had to go in to see what this shop was about. The owners (husband and wife duo) make each chocolate by hand with amazing ingredients. And I’m not a chocolate kind of girl, but this chocolate – this chocolate might just make a chocolate girl outta me. They’re so good!

I also left with a spiced white chocolate hot cocoa mix which I fully intend to keep all to myself, but would make an amazing hostess gift this holiday season. You can see Fleurir’s chocolate flavors here (coconut lime… mmmm) and order online too.

shop photos by Christina Bernales

posted by christine in Travel and have No Comments

[the lounge list: dc] columbia room

This post is overdue by about 5 months, but shortly after our fabulous night here for our anniversary, we found out we were expecting. And because of my cocktail cravings, I’ve postponed this long. But I only have 3 months left to go, and the first chance we get to hire a babysitter, our date night will be here to celebrate.

The Columbia Room is an absolute DC must for visitors and locals alike. I have to say, I’m impressed; DC is really knocking it out of the park in the cocktail lounge department. [The Gibson is amazing too.] The Columbia Room is just that… a room that’s tucked away at the back of the Passenger. With reservation-only seating for about 10 at the bar, it’s super intimate and you get a front row seat to see the talented mixologists in action. These guys know what they’re doing and if you ask, you will even get the history behind each concoction. It’s truly a treat to see the unique spirits, methods, time, and skill that go into achieving the perfect balance of flavors.

For $64 a person, three drinks and a small plate are included. The first two are seasonal and the third is a custom drink crafted based on your preferences. I asked for a bourbon cocktail and was presented with a Lion’s Tail. Nothing short of mind-blowing. You can find Derek Brown’s [the genius behind the Columbia Room] recipe here in the Atlantic. Also check out his features in Esquire and the WSJ.

photos from here by Max Cook

posted by christine in Travel and have No Comments

[the sleep list: dc] the jefferson

In Andrew’s limited spare time on deployment, he’s organizing an entire week’s worth of meetings, receptions, and dinners for a large group of foreign dignitaries visiting DC next month. A man of many talents I married. My assignment? Scout out the best accommodations in the District. So I set out on foot and toured a few of the big names.

Conclusion? If you’re looking for THE place to stay when you’re in DC, The Jefferson is hands down the most fabulous. Really, it’s unparalleled. And if you need more evidence, it’s part of the Relais & Châteaux collection, a carefully selected group of the most luxurious 480 hotels and restaurants in the world.

Originally built in 1923 as a residential building by Beaux Arts designer Jules Henri de Sibour, it was converted to a hotel in 1955. Then in 2007, ForrestPerkins Architects began a full scale renovation project that lasted over 2 years.

No detail was spared. Every square inch of the place in both design and culture pays tribute to Jefferson’s legacy, travels, and wide range of interests. Custom fabrics, a private art collection and framed original documents, a private wine cellar, and countless other thoughtful, unexpected details are effortlessly woven throughout this beautiful building that makes you feel like a personal guest in an exquisite Parisian residence.

I couldn’t get over how well done everything was. Any time I enter a place with associated hype, as much as I fight it, I go into snob-mode. Well, this isn’t that great or I totally would’ve done this differently. I had nothing. I just nodded with big eyes and wowed at everything as the concierge gave me the tour.

Paying tribute to Jefferson as a gourmand, Plume is one of the finest dining establishments in the city. Quill, the cocktail bar, is also supposed to be exceptional and I’ve read there’s a MasterMind cocktail option where the mixologist notes all your preferences and crafts a unique cocktail for you.

Nooks and crannies can be found at every turn. Because of my love for libraries, this book room in particular stole my heart. There are also small, intimate rooms called Jefferson Cabinet Rooms that seat two to four people for private conversations.

And the rooms… are glorious. These photos are of suites, but even the standard rooms are pretty swanky.

So that’s all for the blog tour. Andrew and I are already planning our staycation here…

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posted by christine in Architecture + Interior Design,Travel and have Comment (1)